Einstein quote

From "Man and his Gods" by H W Smith (1953)

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Einstein quote

#1  Postby Kiwi » Nov 18, 2010 4:44 am

Albert Einstein is rightly regarded as a very clever individual. The theist community often uses his sometimes euphemistic language ("God does not play dice" etc) to say he was a theist, despite the existence of many quotes to the contrary.

I happened to pick up a copy of "Man and his Gods" by H W Smith (1953) at a jumble sale and found this quote from the foreword by Einstein very moving, written as it was in the shadow of the second world war.


PROFESSOR Smith has kindly submitted his book to me before publication. After reading it thoroughly and with intense interest I am glad to comply with his request to give him my impression.

The work is a broadly conceived attempt to portray man's fear-induced animistic and mythic ideas with all their far-flung transformations and interrelations. It relates the impact of these phantasmagorias on human destiny and the causal relationships by which they have become crystallized into organized religion.

This is a biologist speaking, whose scientific training has disciplined him in a grim objectivity rarely found in the pure historian. This objectivity has not, however, hindered him from emphasizing the boundless suffering which, in its end results, this mythic thought has brought upon man.

Professor Smith envisages as a redeeming force, training in objective observation of all that is available for immediate perception and in the interpretation of facts without preconceived ideas. In his view, only if every individual strives for truth can humanity attain a happier future; the atavisms in each of us that stand in the way of a friendlier destiny can only thus be rendered ineffective.

His historical picture closes with the end of the nineteenth century, and with good reason. By that time it seemed that the influence of these mythic, authoritatively anchored forces which can be denoted as religious, had been reduced to a tolerable level in spite of all the persisting inertia and hypocrisy.

Even then, a new branch of mythic thought had already grown strong, one not religious in nature but no less perilous to mankind -- exaggerated nationalism. Half a century has shown that this new adversary is so strong that it places in question man's very survival. It is too early for the present-day historian to write about this problem, but it is to be hoped that one will survive who can undertake the task at a later date.

ALBERT EINSTEIN


The book is available to read here:

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/homer1a.htm
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Re: Einstein quote

#2  Postby THWOTH » Feb 20, 2012 12:53 am

That should go in the quotes and slogans thread. :wave:
"Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it."
— Michel de Montaigne, Essais, 1580


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Re: Einstein quote

#3  Postby Caper » Mar 01, 2012 2:45 am

THWOTH wrote:
That should go in the quotes and slogans thread.


There is such a thing? Damn, I gotta start payin' attention.

(I agree, by the way.)
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Re: Einstein quote

#4  Postby amkerman » Mar 01, 2012 2:58 am

Bring me gold and bring me wisdom- give me scars to bring me grace.

A wicked wit and when I use it I dash the hopes of those who hate me.

Give me love- big as a mountain.

Dave Matthews
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Re: Einstein quote

#5  Postby THWOTH » Mar 01, 2012 11:56 am


Ah, a page of unreferenced quotemines.

:coffee:
"Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it."
— Michel de Montaigne, Essais, 1580


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Re: Einstein quote

#6  Postby trubble76 » Mar 01, 2012 12:09 pm

THWOTH wrote:

Ah, a page of unreferenced quotemines.

:coffee:


You don't need references, or any kind of honesty if you have a god reality.
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Re: Einstein quote

#7  Postby Oldskeptic » Mar 01, 2012 8:04 pm



God does not play dice with the universe.

To which Bohr reportedly remarked.
Einstein should stop telling God what to do.
:dance:

Why is it that people brilliant in one field of their lives are continually quoted in other fields? Who fucking cares what Einstein thought about "God"? He was a science geek with a big head in more ways than one.
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Re: Einstein quote

#8  Postby THWOTH » Mar 01, 2012 8:49 pm

Oldskeptic wrote:Why is it that people brilliant in one field of their lives are continually quoted in other fields? Who fucking cares what Einstein thought about "God"? He was a science geek with a big head in more ways than one.

I think the basic reason is to seek to undermine an icon of methodological naturalism to shunt a positive calim that science cannot answer the really important, deep, big question, like why are we here and what is our purpose. For this we are generally told that to 'truly' understand the world and our place in it we need a little less of the cold, hard, facts of science and a little more of the profound, meaningful and/or significant thingamabobs and whatnots of 'spirituality'...

:coffee:
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Re: Einstein quote

#9  Postby Calilasseia » Mar 07, 2012 11:25 pm

This, despite the fact that "spirituality" hasn't answered any of the substantive questions presented to it, whilst science has been finding answers to questions that "spirituality" didn't even think to ask. :)
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Re: Einstein quote

#10  Postby Onyx8 » Mar 08, 2012 6:25 am




You keep saying all you are interested in is truth. These 'quotes' are not that. I strongly suspect you know this.

Excuse me but your agenda is showing.
The problem with fantasies is you can't really insist that everyone else believes in yours, the other problem with fantasies is that most believers of fantasies eventually get around to doing exactly that.
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Re: Einstein quote

#11  Postby Imagination Theory » Apr 28, 2012 7:40 pm



Hmm. This might give your link a bit more context.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/einstein/einbucky.htm

(Conversation on Religion and Antisemitism From The Private Albert Einstein by Peter A. Bucky with Allen G. Weakland, Andrews and McMeel, Kansas City, 1992, pp 85-87. This book contains the record of various conversations between Bucky and Einstein over a thirty year period. Some of the quotes that are in your link are in full here. ;) )

Also “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

Albert Einstein, in a letter March 24, 1954; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 43.

“My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.”

Albert Einstein in a letter to M. Berkowitz, October 25, 1950; Einstein Archive 59-215; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 216.

“I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”

Albert Einstein, upon being asked if he believed in God by Rabbi Herbert Goldstein of the Institutional Synagogue, New York, April 24, 1921, published in the New York Times, April 25, 1929; from Einstein: The Life and Times, Ronald W. Clark, New York: World Publishing Co., 1971, p. 413; also cited as a telegram to a Jewish newspaper, 1929, Einstein Archive 33-272, from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 204.

“It is quite possible that we can do greater things than Jesus, for what is written in the Bible about him is poetically embellished.”

Albert Einstein; quoted in W. I. Hermanns, "A Talk with Einstein," October 1943, Einstein Archive 55-285; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 215.

“I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.”

Albert Einstein, replying to a letter in 1954 or 1955; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 39.

“I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos.”

Albert Einstein on quantum mechanics, published in the London Observer, April 5, 1964; also quoted as "God does not play dice with the world." in Einstein: The Life and Times, Ronald W. Clark, New York: World Publishing Co., 1971, p. 19.


Einstein wrote the following letter to philosopher Erik Gutkind after reading his book, 'Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt, in 1994.
Image

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/wo ... kness.html

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007D ... nskepti-20

Those don't cut it either though. You'll need to read much more about him and from him then just the above. And when you do, keep in mind what time he was in. It was 1879-1955
Я пью за разоренный дом,
За злую жизнь мою,
За одиночество вдвоем,
И за тебя я пью, -
За ложь меня предавших губ,
За мертвый холод глаз,
За то, что мир жесток и груб,
За то, что Бог не спас.


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Re: Einstein quote

#12  Postby THWOTH » Apr 28, 2012 9:16 pm

Thanks for the context there Imagination Theory. :thumbup:
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Re: Einstein quote

#13  Postby Imagination Theory » Apr 28, 2012 10:02 pm

I think it is important to include the full quotes because Einstein's use of the word god and religion is vague and his usage of them is not popular/common so it is hard to understand him fully if you cut him off.

I think he was an agnostic who believed/identified with Spinoza's god tho, so you'd think there'd be no reason to quote mine him. A god is a god! Right?
Я пью за разоренный дом,
За злую жизнь мою,
За одиночество вдвоем,
И за тебя я пью, -
За ложь меня предавших губ,
За мертвый холод глаз,
За то, что мир жесток и груб,
За то, что Бог не спас.


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Re: Einstein quote

#14  Postby THWOTH » Apr 28, 2012 10:33 pm

Right. This Spinozean/Einsteinian god is not God, nor even 'a god' according to the normal, super-natural usage and meaning of the term.
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Re: Einstein quote

#15  Postby Landrew » Apr 28, 2012 11:05 pm

Imagination Theory wrote:I think it is important to include the full quotes because Einstein's use of the word god and religion is vague and his usage of them is not popular/common so it is hard to understand him fully if you cut him off.

I think he was an agnostic who believed/identified with Spinoza's god tho, so you'd think there'd be no reason to quote mine him. A god is a god! Right?

I believe Einstein clarified his beliefs as closest to a "Spinoza's God," but which he regarded as a euphemism for "the universe."
It's the duty of a Scientist to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.
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Re: Einstein quote

#16  Postby Macdoc » Apr 28, 2012 11:49 pm

Dice is in reference to randomness and the battle with Bohr....Einstein wanted an orderly elegant universe...that's not what he got with QM.

imputing ANY thought of the supernatural to him is outright stupid and an insult to his contribution to human knowledge.

That he fought with the unsettling concept of a disorderly universe is very understandable.....many still do and they remain, as Einstein was in this limted case, wrong.
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Re: Einstein quote

#17  Postby Calilasseia » Apr 28, 2012 11:55 pm

Ah, IT has beaten me to it. Excellent exposition.
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Re: Einstein quote

#18  Postby THWOTH » Apr 29, 2012 12:26 am

Macdoc wrote:Imputing ANY thought of the supernatural to him is outright stupid and an insult to his contribution to human knowledge....

Quoted in concurrence. :D
"Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it."
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Re: Einstein quote

#19  Postby Landrew » Apr 29, 2012 4:19 pm

THWOTH wrote:
Macdoc wrote:Imputing ANY thought of the supernatural to him is outright stupid and an insult to his contribution to human knowledge....

Quoted in concurrence. :D

It was far more politically incorrect to profess atheism in Einstein's time, therefore he gave a very credible response to a question about his religion.
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Re: Einstein quote

#20  Postby Imagination Theory » Apr 29, 2012 4:41 pm

Macdoc wrote:Dice is in reference to randomness and the battle with Bohr....Einstein wanted an orderly elegant universe...that's not what he got with QM.

imputing ANY thought of the supernatural to him is outright stupid and an insult to his contribution to human knowledge.

That he fought with the unsettling concept of a disorderly universe is very understandable.....many still do and they remain, as Einstein was in this limted case, wrong.


I had a very religious background, Christian and Jewish and I still say things like "it is like looking into gods face" for something mind-blowing. Like; the Frilled Shark

Image



It is just a habit and me using words that I grew up with. I probably shouldn't though because religious people misunderstand me and actually think that I have seen gods face! :lol:

http://life-sea.blogspot.com/2011/10/li ... shark.html
Я пью за разоренный дом,
За злую жизнь мою,
За одиночество вдвоем,
И за тебя я пью, -
За ложь меня предавших губ,
За мертвый холод глаз,
За то, что мир жесток и груб,
За то, что Бог не спас.


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